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30 April 2013

The Apprentice: Meet the Girls



Francesca MacDuff-Varley

Age: 32
Occupation: Dance and Entertainment Entrepreneur
Lives: Leeds, UK

A classically trained dancer, one of Francesca’s first jobs was teaching baby ballet at her local dance studios. She is now is the founder and director of a dance studio, a professional dance agency and a lookalike agency. She describes herself as determined, driven and fun, and quotes Debbie Moore and Arlene Phillips as the business figures she is most inspired by, for their creativity and vision. She cites being a hard-worker as her greatest strength, though admits she can be a ‘control freak’ at times.

She says: “I’m prepared to fight to the death to become Lord Sugar’s business partner.”


Jaz Ampaw-Farr

Age: 41
Occupation: Literacy and Education Company Director
Lives: Milton Keynes, UK

Married mother-of-three Jaz began her career as a teacher and is passionate about children’s education and learning. She believes her strengths to be her tenacity and determination, while her weakness is that she has no time for those that don’t share her business vision. Her interests include stand-up comedy and lifestyle photography.

She says: “I’m half machine. I can process things at a speed that is out of this world!”


Leah Totton

Age: 24
Occupation: Doctor
Lives: London, UK

Born in Northern Ireland, Leah now lives in London and is kept busy by her work as a practising doctor. She is passionate about medicine and health and says her friends would describe her as caring, kind and professional, though she can be too ambitious.

She says: “I’m very hard working and feel I can bring youth, vibrancy, enthusiasm and a touch of class to any business I’m part of.”


Luisa Zissman

Age: 25
Occupation: Retail Entrepreneur
Lives: St Albans, UK

Mother-of-one Luisa describes herself as confident, logical and outspoken and cites her greatest business achievement to be the ability to create new jobs through the success of her businesses. She lists her favourite business brands as Christian Louboutin and Virgin Atlantic for their strong brand identities. Her first job was as a Saturday girl in an estate agent and she now owns her own cupcake shop, baking website and electronics business.

She says: “I have the energy of a Duracell bunny, sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit, and a brain like Einstein.”


Natalie Panayi

Age: 30
Occupation: Recruitment Manager
Lives: Rickmansworth, UK

Natalie’s first job was as a pub waitress and says her dad is her business inspiration, as he built his success from nothing through his strong work ethic. Her passions include fashion and money and she is also a trained jazz singer and qualified make-up artist. She says her friends would describe her as headstrong, determined and caring, though one of her most annoying habits can be interrupting people. She says: “When it comes to business, I am the complete package and when it comes to sales, I’m the best.”


Rebecca Slater

Age: 35
Occupation: Medical Rep
Lives: Wigan, UK

Rebecca would describe herself as authentic, generous and adventurous, though says she can be very impatient. Now working in medical sales, her first job was in a Post Office shop. She lists Alex Polizzi and Mary Portas as business figures that inspire her because they are willing to take on any challenge.

She says: “I’m a pretty tough person. I don’t let people walk all over me in life or in business. And if somebody crosses me, it’s game over.”


Sophie Lau

Age: 22
Occupation: Restaurateur
Lives: Bristol, UK

Malaysian-born Sophie says her greatest strengths are creativity and the ability to ‘think outside the box’, but her weakness is mental arithmetic. She first worked as a catering company waitress and at the age of 19, began running her own restaurant while still studying as a student. She is passionate about food and describes herself as innovative and intelligent.

She says: “I don’t have a multi-million pound business but what I do have is the raw talent, the drive and the competitive streak.”


Uzma Yakoob

Age: 32
Occupation: Entrepreneur and Make-Up Brand Owner
Lives: London, UK

Uzma describes herself as confident, creative and spiritual, though says she can lack patience. She has set up a non-profit organisation to help women reach out to one another in times of need and lists being nominated for an Asian Women of Achievement Awards as one of her greatest business achievements. She says the brand she is most inspired by is MAC, because they have created a product that most women think they can’t live without.

She says: “If I believe in something, I will go to the end to make sure it’s done.”

After the first episode on Tuesday 7 May, The Apprentice will air on BBC One on Wednesdays at 9pm, from 8 May.



Related posts:
Let the boardroom battle to become Lord Sugar’s next business partner begin
Meet the Boys
Meet the Board

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